Madness. Madness is the word that comes to mind at the mention of John Bolton. The late under secretary that helped mastermind the disastrous war in Iraq is once again in the news for releasing a plan on how to kill the Iran deal and instigate a civil war in Iran. It is important we not gloss over the gravity of what he is suggesting.
Given his supposed lack of access to the President, Bolton decided to take his advice to the media, in hopes of catching Trump’s eye. His advice? Secretly conspire with “allied” nations to fund terrorist organizations in an ethnic civil war inside Iran. Then, control all of Iran’s territories through terrorist proxies and failed states, deny all Iranians visas, and ultimately make the Iranian government “pay for 9/11.”
The memo encourages US backed ethno-sectarian bloodshed, similar to that of Syria today. Specifically, it proposes the backing of Balochi and Kurdish insurgents. Baloch terrorist and criminal networks have already claimed the lives of approximately 3,000 Iranian border guards and soldiers.
But there’s more. Bolton even suggests ending “all visas for Iranians, including so called ’scholarly,’ student, sports, or other exchanges.” That means that his plan is to start a sectarian civil war in Iran and then trapping every single civilian in the war zone. So much for Bolton’s self-proclaimed love for the Iranian people.
Moreover, he demands compensation for Iranian “acts of terror”, “including 9/11”. The notion that Iran orchestrated 9/11 is completely unfounded, only adding to the insult of Saudi Arabia being on the list of nations he intends to “conspire with against Iran”. After all, 15 out of 19 hijackers in the September 11th attacks were Saudi nationals.
It’s hard to understand the rationale behind Bolton’s thirst for war. After all, Iran is being compliant with the nuclear deal, despite many hardline conservatives predicting that they wouldn’t be.
In his memo, Bolton justifies his actions by claiming that Iran is a “grave threat to Israel”, and that “Iran’s refusal to allow inspections of military sites also provides important reasons for the Administration’s decision.” He continues by speculating that Iran is working with North Korea on missiles and promises that the truth can be exposed by “providing new, declassified information on Iran’s unacceptable behavior”. So all in all, Bolton’s grounds for waging war on Iran are “classified” and the nation ought to just take his word for it.
Ultimately, Bolton is looking for excuses to wage war against Iran, and deliberately get thousands of civilians killed. When there is no presentable excuse, he formulates his own under the guise of “classified information.”
Instead of creating a legacy of war, death, and betrayal, America ought to honor the Iran nuclear deal and double down on diplomacy in the Middle East, instead of continuing Bolton’s decades long project of destabilizing the region.
Arvin Hariri is an Associate at the National Iranian American Council. This article was first published on huffingtonpost.com.